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5 Tips for a Successful 2018 Marketing Strategy

January 15, 2018

 As another year comes and goes, everyone is ready for a fresh new, and hopefully successful start. While each industry may have its own tips and tricks to use, we have got your covered on where to start to ensure that your marketing strategy for this new year will bring you a successful return.

 

Here are five places to start:

 

Create a content calendar that works for you

Eighty-one percent of marketers found that just six hours per week invested in social media planning helped them increase traffic. You’ll want to maximize that time, and every minute you spend fiddling with a format you’re not familiar with is a minute you’re not spending on killer content development.

 

Type “Content calendar” into Google and you’ll find hundreds of examples and templates you can download to file with social media content. But the last thing you want to do is tie yourself to a format that frustrates or intimidates you.

 

If you find one you’re comfortable using, great! If not, go back to basics. Open a Word document, and copy & paste this:

 

Date

Channel:

<content>

<image>

<publish time>

 

Then just fill it in. No formatting. No grids. No messing around with cells. Nothing to be intimidated by. Just write your social media content.

 

By planning out what social content will be distributed and posted a month before it’s due, you will be able to develop more thought provoking, interesting and entertaining content to engage your followers and show them that you care! This year, take the time that social media content needs, and ensure each month has a sound content calendar developed at least the month before.

 

 

Get your SEO ready for voice search

There’s a great scene from Star Trek IV (the one where the crew goes back to the ’80s in search of Humpback Whales) where Scotty tries to activate a desktop computer with his voice. His disappointment when he realizes he has to use a keyboard is priceless

 

There’ll always be a place for keyboards, but more and more, it’s looking like search isn’t going to be one of them. Google’s already finding that 55% of teens and 41% of adults use their phone’s voice assistant on a daily basis - and both numbers are growing.

 

So how do you know if your website is SEO’d for voice? Start by reading your website out loud. If a line of copy doesn’t sound like something you or your audience would actually say, change it. And pay attention to the details, like conjunctions: you wouldn’t say “we are located at 123 Main Street.” You’d say “we’re located…”

 

Next, take the opportunity to ask your current customers how they found you. And don’t do this by email. Schedule a time to talk to them so you can hear what they tell you. And if you can (and they allow), you should record it (here are a few apps for that).

 

You’ll probably hear a few common phrases. Those will become the long-tail keywords you should be bidding on. After all, no one will actually say “marketing agency Oakville,” but they would say, “I need a marketing agency in Oakville that understands web development really well.”

 

Lastly, prepare your SEO for mico-moment searches. Consumers now use voice assistants to search for products or places spontaneously. This year, it is essential to ensure that your SEO can keep up with these searches. A good idea would be to consider what ideas trigger mentions to your products and bidding on those words. For example, if your product is winter gloves, then your SEO should be prepared for the winter months when consumers start searching for “the warmest winter gloves available” through Siri.

 

 

Carve out time for research

No industry is moving as quickly or changing as rapidly as digital marketing. Every new platform brings an opportunity to spread your message differently and to a wider audience. That’s not even taking into account the evolving nature of existing platforms. Take LinkedIn, for example. For years, it was basically a network for job seekers. But in the past year, it has transformed into one of the most effective business development/lead generation tools available to entrepreneurs.

 

So we’d recommend spending 30 minutes a day poking around and getting up to speed on the trends. Check out the latest research from Hubspot and Kissmetrics and find out what they see as the trends to watch in the near future.

 

But don’t limit yourself to technology-based research. For example, here’s a fantastic piece from Forbes Magazine about the decline of print advertising and its effect on the power small businesses like yours have in competing with the big dogs. Articles like this are informative and also motivating. We really are in the age of “yes, we can.” And if you spend some time every day understanding what that means, you will.

 

As always, when you’re looking for social platforms to populate and writing content to share, be sure you have a sound idea of your target audience. Ask yourself the following questions:

·       Who are they?

·       Where are they (online)?

·       What are their problems?

·       How do we solve those problems?

 

 

Know your numbers

A hundred years ago, John Wanamaker famously said, “half of all the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” So he’d have been thrilled with what digital marketing could let him do.

 

You can see exactly what your efforts are yielding in terms of search results, reach, conversions, sales - pretty much any metric you want. And the channels you use make these analytics readily available.

 

You should get into the habit of checking your content reports monthly. Each of your platforms (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) make this information easy to access - you can usually get to them right from your account home page. And we’d recommend scheduling a call with a sales rep at each of your channels to walk you through what you can do. Learn it once the right way.

 

If you want more context - specifically, industry benchmarks you can measure your results against - we recommend looking into a company like Qoints. And, rah, rah, they’re Canadian.

 

 

Make a video

Marketers who produce video content grow revenue 49% faster. Of course they do. Video sharing is how people want to consume content nowadays instead of reading long articles or Facebook posts

 

Bonus Tip - Here’s how you get started with videos:

First, pick an area of your business (service, product or offering) that seems to do well with your current customers, or that answers a frequently asked question.

Second, decide how you want to present the information – interview-style, recorded screen-capture of a demo, or animated explainer video.

Next, take time to write a basic script, or at least bullet-points about key topics you want to discuss or focus on.

Lastly, begin recording! It will likely take multiple tries to get it exactly how you want it to turn out, that’s fine – videos take time.

 

Our advice to you with regards to video is to not overthink it. Get in the habit of making them regularly and publishing them properly. The more you do, the more ideas you’ll have for other videos, which leads to improved video quality and content. And before you know it, you’ll have a library to share.

 

Speaking of sharing videos – when you spend hours producing a video, publish and host the entire video where it is trackable and gains the most value (ie. On a landing page). Next use segmented or “teaser” posts and clips of the video in your social posts.

 

 

This year, make 2018 your year for great marketing. Whether that be by starting a video series or by simply planning your content in content calendar beforehand. We know that the marketing industry keeps changing, but the way to stay ahead of this curve is to continuously keep working at it and trying these new trend tactics.

 

If you want to learn more about building a successful marketing strategy and a clear plan of action that includes social media, voice-ready SEO, and video content, contact us for a free consultation. We’d be happy to help!

 

 

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